Alma Berrow…. filthy ashtrays, condoms and carrier bags

Never mind the Wedgwoods: pottery’s punk revolution celebrates filthy ashtrays, condoms and carrier bags

Forget smooth lines, symmetry and classical elegance – the new wave of handmade ceramics are wonky, shonky and thrillingly accessible

Last year, Alma Berrow watched nervously as her large ceramic sculpture of a pink shell filled with snuffed-out cigarette butts went up for auction at Sotheby’s. Ifs and Butts’ inclusion in the auction alongside work by artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Tracey Emin was enough to surprise and satisfy Berrow, a former fashion designer who had only begun working with ceramics the year before. She expected the piece to go for about £1,000 and was stunned when it sold for £16,000. But pottery, especially pottery with a sense of humour, is having a moment.